A new report from Defense News states the a US aircraft carrier was actually sailing away from the Sea of Japan when the White House announced that it was headed for that location, last week,
In what the White House claimed to be a move to act as a deterrent to North Korea’s recent missile tests and provocations, the US Navy announced on April 09, that the Carl Vinson Strike Group will not make its regularly scheduled trip to Australia and instead, head towards the western Pacific Ocean.
However, The New York Times noted on Tuesday, that the Navy posted a picture dated April 15, showing the strike group in the Sunda Strait, an area thousands of miles away from North Korea off the coast of Indonesia.
At the time, comments from administration officials and spokesmen seemed to contradict each other over the exact reason the strike group was sent towards the Korean Peninsula. During a White House press briefing last week, Sean Spicer, when asked about the decision to send the strike force to North Korea, claimed the move to be a deterrent.
“A carrier group is several things. The forward deployment is deterrence, presence. It’s prudent. But it does a lot of things. It ensures our — we have the strategic capabilities, and it gives the president options in the region,” he said.
“But I think when you see a carrier group steaming into an area like that, the forward presence of that is clearly, through almost every instance, a huge deterrence. So I think it serves multiple capabilities.
Meanwhile, on another press briefing the same day, Defense Secretary James Mattis warned against assuming any “specific reason” for the move.
“There’s not a specific demand signal or specific reason we are sending her up there,” Mattis said of the Vinson.
“She’s stationed there in the western Pacific for a reason. She operates freely up and down the Pacific, and she’s just on her way up there because that’s where we thought it was most prudent to have her at this time.”
The Carl Vinson Strike group is now headed for the Korean Peninsula and will reach the area by the end of the month, the Defense Department told the Times.